1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
John Barleycorn Barleywine AleJohn Barleycorn Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

462 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 462
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 20
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Same recipe each year. ABV varies slightly 9.5-11.0%

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-26-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 462 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sia478
4/5  rDev +7.2%

sia478, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

jaydoc, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Hoppy_McMalt
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Hoppy_McMalt, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter glass. 2012 batch served 02/01/2014.

Appearance: A very dark brown looks almost opaque in the glass with very little bubbles to it's frame creating an off-white (orange-ish) head rising to maybe 1/8".

Smell: Light wood notes with a strong alcohol scent but dissipates very quickly.

Taste: Strong alcohol feel that almost smothers the rest of the brew, with the right dose of barley and very light bitterness.

Mouth: Nice stickiness but not exactly smooth, little rough and the body is somewhere medium but has a closer to flat feel.

Overall: Not a bad brew but better barleywines out there. Lacks complexity, this is more the "looking for a buzz" brew. Worth tasting I don't think I would keep it. Salud!

BlurryVisi0n, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

kylehay2004, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of BierJager89
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown with a light brown head.

S: Grapes in the nose, some malt and dark fruit as well.

T: Grape, dark fruit, malt, pretty much the same, but really good, a touch sweet.

M: Full bodied, smoothish.

O: A really good barleywine, from a brewery I don't know much about.

BierJager89, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Beerswag
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into st. Bernardus watou chalice
Smell is sweet not too much fragrance, fruity fig, and black cherry nose. Apprearance is dark cherry-wood, minimal head, gone in 2 seconds, even after vigrois pour, expected from a 11%abv'r. No lacing, not too resinous, drinking smooth. Taste is sweet malt, black cherry, sweet caramel, finishes with a good hop profile( possibly simcoe, cluster).mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a slight crips bite on the end. Overall a decent barleywine that would even better paired with duck, pate, dry cheeses such as beemster, or an aged white or yellow chedder...

Beerswag, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Patrick_E_Sweeney
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle chilled into a beer tulip. Relatively sparse, tan colored head, with a dark, dark brown color. Aroma of malt, scorched caramel, and alcohol. Taste is an initial very strong malt, a tad overwhelming, which gives way to light, lingering hoppiness, caramel, and toasted grain. Good balance of sweet and bitter. Sweetness fades and bitter remains for 30 seconds to a minute, with a pleasant mouthfeel. Overall very nice. Not spectacular, but definitely worth a taste.

Patrick_E_Sweeney, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of jmdrpi
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, 2012 vintage.

appears dark brown, opque, nice 1/4" cream colored head which lasts. aroma is quite malty - rich caramel ,raisins, alcohol. taste is strong, slight boozy aftertaste. actually more bitter than sweet. not quite thick, but definitely coats the tongue. slick mouthfeel.

overall - would be much better if the taste lived up to the smell.

jmdrpi, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of pjkelley82
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

pjkelley82, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of King_KongDCO93
4/5  rDev +7.2%

King_KongDCO93, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

twelveinches, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

iatethecloudsfor, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

BillRoth, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

BuzzLitebier, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Dark, dark red amber in the Crooked Line tulip. Beautiful bubblefest and a creamy off-white foam. Very swirly in the glass and spritzy in the mouth.

This has an unusual musty and woody flavor. It's big and crazy with malt and caramel. Deep, dark roasted grain with a smooth mouthfeel and a sweet taste. Tangy and hoppy after the kiss of malt. Bitterness creeps up along with the wet barrel sensation. Some brown sugar and scorched caramel, but a surprisingly more dry finish.

A wintry powerful brew that is a little off-putting at first, and a little hot at the end, but it's an interesting variation on Barleywines. Better than most of the Mad River stuff, in my opinion. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

mactrail, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of rubydot
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

rubydot, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of buzzy
4/5  rDev +7.2%

buzzy, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of RangnaR
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

RangnaR, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of srhoadsy
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a tulip.

Pours a nice chestnut brown with an inch of dark tan head that recedes leaving moderate surface layer and lacing.

Aromas of toffee, dried fruits with an indistinct hint of hops.

Flavors follow through the aromas. The hops come more into focus, with hints of pine and candied citrus peel.

Medium to heavy bodied with a sweet finish. Moderate carbonation with a lingering aftertaste
of burnt sugar and bitter citrus along with some alcohol warmth.

I really enjoyed this beer. It's a hoppy barley wine that makes for a nice winter warmer.

srhoadsy, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Erice78
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Erice78, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Newbiebeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Newbiebeer, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Craigory
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Craigory, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of vande
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

vande, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of theCoder
3/5  rDev -19.6%

theCoder, Oct 25, 2013
John Barleycorn Barleywine Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.